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A brand for success

We talk to Mark Wilson, Director of Creative Products Distribution about how his business offers quality over quantity

How did Creative Product Distribution start?
After twelve happy years working for Impex Creative Crafts, where I travelled extensively to seek out new and innovative products, the company was purchased by Dylon and I moved on to W William's, which closed at the end of 2009. I'd obtained a good knowledge and understanding of the craft trade and gained many contacts within the industry so felt that it was time to put my redundancy to good use. With the support of my wife Judith, Creative Products Distribution was created in April 2010. My vision was, and is, to sell products that are branded and made by quality suppliers while offering great levels of service and the essential innovation that the craft trade requires to move forward. I found everything I was after in the Beacon Adhesive range.

How do you decide which products to distribute?
In the past, I had seen products fail because they required constant demonstration to make them sell, so I sought a commodity product that's always required but not just a 'me too' product. I travelled to the USA and met with Beacon Adhesives and was so impressed by the family-owned and run business, run by crafters for crafters.

Established in 1926, the company is third generation, and now supplies many demanding sectors and is sold in all the leading US retail outlets such as Jo Ann's, Hobby Lobby, A C Moores and many other quality retailers. The Beacon range has distinctive products that are not only multi-purpose but are craft and project specific. We now sell a craft range of adhesives, with dedicated products for the job - for example the paper glue won't bleed through and grabs hold in seconds.

What are your best sellers?
Gem-Tac is our leading Rhinestone glue - this dries crystal clear, is washable and is used by many crafters, designers and embellishment lovers. With rhinestone such an on-trend product at the moment, Gem-Tac is the ideal product. The link sale of offering quality rhinestones works ideally with Gem-Tac, however you don't just have to take our word for it, our non-toxic non-hazardous product has a massive fan base on YouTube.
Fabri-Tac is a glue gun in a bottle - this also dries crystal clear and has a very fast grab, making this product a must-have for anyone who works with fabrics, trims and bridal. This solvent-based adhesive sets the bar in the fabric adhesive market that very few products can attain. It has a strong, flexible finish and is used on many US TV shows as the product of choice.

Liquid Thread - an ideal product for customers who can't or won't sew. Originally it was only sold via an elite kitchen supplies company but is now readily available to stock and will meet the needs of your customers for general repairs to hems and seams.

3-in-1 Advanced craft glue - this is our papercraft and box makers product of choice. The key features are that it won't bleed through the paper, has an almost instant grab, dries crystal clear and is fitted with s precision applicator nozzle for delicate work. This fast-drying glue come in a 115ml bottle and works like red tape in a bottle.

Mosaic Glue - a product that sells by itself and is the ideal link-sale with mosaic tiles. The handy 59ml bottle is easy to hold and work with while the finished effect showcases the craft project, not the glue.

Beacon 527 - this is my go-to product when I need to bond jewellery, glass, ceramics, leather or tile. The flexible clear finish enables me to create an eye-catching finished project quickly, easily and without any fuss.

Fast Finish decoupage glue - this has to be the most creative product that I've ever sold with so many possibilities, from making a bangle to creating paper beads. It's a fun product that's only limited by the imagination of the user and can create a crystal clear, tack free gloss finish on glass, wood, terracotta and plastic.

What changes have you seen to what crafters buy and what would you say is the hottest trend for 2014?
Quality vs quantity
Crafters are becoming choosy when it comes to selecting their craft products, they want quality items that do what it says on the tin and once they've tried a particular brand that meets their needs, they become loyal followers. An example of this would be the crafters who purchase expensive paper cutting machines and software. Once these intricate patterns and templates are produced, they seek out our 3-in-1 Advanced craft glue because it offers them the finish they desire and enhances their work. The strongest trend ahead for 2014 I believe is personalisation.

Make do and Mend
With the tough economic climate still effecting the disposable income of most households within the UK, the craft of 'Make do and Mend' and the wish to personalise and customise lower price-tagged items such as mobile phones, bags, shoes and clothing with embellishments is still flourishing. There's a real opportunity to capitalise on this trend by stocking trimmings and adhesives such as Beacon to maximise this potential gap in the market, at the same time link selling the products in your shop.

Social Media
A noticeable trend has been the increase of social media with crafters; we now have over 8500+ Twitter followers on our @craftsandhobby account and active Facebook & Google+ pages. The outcome of all of this knowledge sharing is that once a product is endorsed and approved by individuals or other Facebook groups, this showcases the products to the retailers that were once unaware of the range, and can also create demand for online purchasing.

CHA-UK
Creative Products Distribution has joined CHA-UK and we actively promote membership, because with better education and the sharing of ideas, those in the craft industry can only hope to improve its trade awareness and at the same time promote it!

Why should retailers choose to buy from your company?
Our objective is to make it as easy as possible to buy from us. We therefore offer no minimum order value, and a single box is fine with a lower SOC towards shipping. We aspire to offer excellent customer service by offering a next working day delivery option within the UK. The large quantity of informative YouTube videos on how to obtain the best results with Beacon products is a key staff training aid as well as informing the end users.

The Beacon Adhesive product range is made exclusively in the USA, by crafters for crafts. Crafters are astute purchasers that want products that will work first time and enhance their work; Beacon Adhesive offers this outcome and we will supply and deliver stock to you the next working day, if required. This reduces your need for high stock holding and with a one-box minimum, allows you to try out any of the products. We're a small enough company to care about every order we pack and large enough to cope with the demands of most UK Companies.

Tell us about some of your newest products?
We'll be releasing Liquid Crystal on the Beacon Adhesive booth #1563 at CHA 2014. This innovative new range will also be presented at CHSI here in the UK on our stand Q15. The range will encompass the demand for personalisation and jewellery making while delivering an outstanding finish in a simple application. The new product is super innovative and will be an ideal link sale as well as a craft class that will enable individuals to create outstanding pieces. We'll have over 100 new and innovative products on display at CHSI, so please stop by our stand and take the opportunity to try them out for yourself on our "Make 'n' Take" demonstration area.

Creative Products Distribution Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 8953 2143
E: sales@creative-distribution.co.uk
W: www.creative-distribution.co.uk

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